Lowman S. Henry
Tue, February 09, 2016
Governor Wolf PERCs Up
After just one year in office it is clear Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is the most spendthrift governor in the nation. After all, his proposed and still unresolved 2015-16 state budget called for ...
Mon, January 25, 2016
An Alternate Universe
News Item: "A cosmologist from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) believes he may just have found proof that an alternate and parallel universe does indeed exist." -- ...
Tue, January 12, 2016
A New Shade of Blue
Residents of Penn's Woods are about to experience history in the making: the start of a new state budget year with the previous year's budget still unresolved. Governor Tom Wolf guaranteed the ...
Tue, December 29, 2015
Rules for Conservatives
If the Left had a religion (which of course they don't), their Bible would be a book by tactical guru Saul Alinsky entitled Rules for Radicals. The original "community organizer," ...
Wed, December 02, 2015
Is a Liberal Arts Education Obsolete?
Beset by rising costs, massive debt, excessive political correctness and questions over its relevance, the tradition of a four-year liberal arts education is under assault.
Tue, November 10, 2015
Harrisburg: We Have a Spending Problem
Pennsylvania state government has a structural budget deficit of $1.2 billion dollars. This somewhat mystical figure is agreed upon by just about everyone. Given this rare point of agreement, why ...
Tue, October 20, 2015
The Charlie Dent Effect
Establishment Republicans are in a panic over the enduring popularity of Donald Trump. If Trump ends up being the GOP nominee party regulars can blame one of their own: Congressman Charlie ...
Sun, October 18, 2015
An American Life
From the minutemen of the American Revolution to the settlers of the old West to the housewives who poured into the factories during World War II to the Tea party movement of recent years our nation ...
Tue, October 06, 2015
Ending Corporate Welfare
Adoption of an annual budget is a core function of government. Both the federal and state governments have failed to get the job done. At the national level there has been no budget for years, as ...
Wed, September 23, 2015
Malaise: Business Owners Deeply Negative
Governor Wolf posts 82% disapproval rating
Governor Tom Wolf, who owned and operated a mid-sized business before running for office, has become ...
Tue, September 22, 2015
A New Way Forward
There is an old saying that battle plans are effective until the fighting starts. That is true in politics. Once the campaign actually begins anything can — and usually does — happen. ...
Mon, September 07, 2015
Is Congress Obsolete?
It is still early in the race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, but the rise of "outsider" candidates such as Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson to the top of the polls has ...
Mon, August 24, 2015
It doesn't happen often, but sometimes a summer romance turns into a permanent relationship. That may be the case with Donald Trump whose summer surge has propelled him to the front of the herd ...
Fri, August 07, 2015
Cauldron of Corruption
Bribery, mail fraud, racketeering, criminal conspiracy, official repression, conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, obstructing the administration of law — ...
Tue, July 14, 2015
Governor Wolf, You're No Barack Obama
Imitation, the saying goes, is the most sincere form of flattery. So either Governor Tom Wolf is in the running for president of the Barack Obama fan club, or the Wolf Administration lacks the ...
Tue, July 07, 2015
Immigration Focus Misses the Problem
Donald Trump's comments on illegal immigrants have ignited the latest firestorm to engulf the herd of candidates seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. But by continuing to focus on ...
Tue, June 30, 2015
A New 'Team of Rivals'
Once again this week the field of contenders for the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination continued to grow. There is great diversity in what is shaping up to be a historically large field of ...
Tue, June 16, 2015
Delco Special Could Be a Scott Wagner Sequel
While all eyes are riveted on the looming state budget deadline in Harrisburg, the political story of the summer is now playing out in Delaware County where a special election for a seat in the ...
Tue, June 02, 2015
PA Kingmaker at Brokered Convention?
Pennsylvania's presidential primary, held in late April after more than half of the other states have already voted, means residents of Penn's woods generally have little impact on the selection of ...
Mon, May 18, 2015
PA Business Leaders Reject Wolf Tax Plan
The Governor of Pennsylvania decided to use his perceived electoral mandate to take on one of the biggest issues that has confronted and confounded the commonwealth for decades: property tax reform. ...
Wed, May 06, 2015
Epic Failure in Baltimore
The real victim of the riots in Baltimore is the Left-wing philosophy of cradle-to-grave big government that has inevitably collapsed under the weight of its own faulty theories and inept ...
Wed, April 29, 2015
PA Business Climate Optimism Evaporates
Wolf Budget Proposals Deeply Unpopular Among Business Owners/CEOs
After nudging into positive territory last October for the first time since 2004, the outlook of ...
Tue, April 21, 2015
Time to Move the PA Presidential Primary
The 2016 Presidential race has officially begun. Over the past couple of weeks Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton have formally announced their candidacies. The field of Republican ...
Tue, April 07, 2015
PA Dems Flounder on Shoals of Corruption
There are two ways to remove a Band-Aid; in one sharp motion getting the pain over quickly, or pulling it off slowly allowing the pain to linger. Democrats in Pennsylvania appear to subscribe to ...
Mon, March 23, 2015
From Perception to Reality
There is an old saying in political circles that "perception is reality." Like many old saws there is a lot of truth behind that saying. Perception is driven by messaging. It is not ...
Mon, March 09, 2015
Of Rainbows and Unicorns
Once upon a time in the woods of Penn the benevolent overseer of the land wished to bestow upon his subjects many favors. Believing in the superior wisdom of his court he set out to do away with the ...
Mon, February 23, 2015
Why is the Party of Free Enterprise Afraid of Competition?
An early, but unofficial, entry into the 2016 Presidential race by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush jump started the fight for the Republican presidential nomination. National party leaders are ...
Tue, February 10, 2015
Demystifying the Judicial Branch
With five statewide appellate court seats up for election — including three on the Supreme Court — an unusual political spotlight is focused this year on the judicial branch of ...
Mon, January 26, 2015
Tampering with Transparency
Transparency has become a buzzword, one of those principles that politicians of all stripes pledge fealty to, but often in practice fall short. For those who value the ability of We the People to ...
Mon, January 12, 2015
Educating to Opportunity
Democrats, legislatively decimated but flush with executive power, have decided to make increased spending on public education the centerpiece of their domestic agenda for 2015. The issue feeds a ...
Mon, December 29, 2014
Divided They Stand
For the past four years Republicans have had a partisan, if not governing majority in all parts of state government. In a couple of weeks a new Democrat governor will take office ushering in an era ...
Tue, December 02, 2014
Kane is Not Able
Politics, the saying goes, is all about timing.
If that is so, State Representative Daryl Metcalfe was a man ahead of his time when last year he introduced a ...
Tue, November 18, 2014
When Gridlock is Good
At both the state and national levels voters have opted to put into place divided government with Democrats in charge of the executive branch and Republicans holding large majorities in the ...
Mon, November 10, 2014
Tinkering with the System
Days before the November election I was listening to a radio talk show and the topic of discussion was a prominent Democrat who suggested that congressional terms should be made longer. ...
Wed, October 29, 2014
GOP Launches New 'War on Poverty'
In his 1964 State of the Union Address President Lyndon Johnson launched what became known as the "war on poverty" saying: "Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but ...
Mon, October 20, 2014
PA Business Climate Improving
For the first time in a decade, by a narrow margin, more Pennsylvania employers say business conditions in the commonwealth are improving than say the state's economy is getting worse. But, that ...
Wed, October 01, 2014
A Ruined Black Tie Affair
My favorite Garth Brooks song, about having friends in low places, has a great lyric where he sings "I showed up in boots and ruined your black tie affair." That refrain could be sung by ...
Tue, September 23, 2014
Since the beginning of our republic there has been a great debate on the role and scope of the federal government and its relationship to the states. We did not begin as the United States of ...
Mon, September 08, 2014
Need a Lyft?
I stood in the doorway of the Ebenezer Coffee House watching a mid-summer thunderstorm dump water on Washington, D.C. Although Union Station, and the taxi cab I needed, was little over a block away, ...
Tue, August 26, 2014
Romney Redux Wrong
Mitt Romney is back. After losing the 2012 presidential race to Barack Obama the defeated Republican nominee stepped out of the spotlight and into what many thought would be a long, quiet retirement ...
Tue, August 12, 2014
Tough Love for Philadelphia Schools
Would you invest in a business whose product failed 80% of the time? If so, you might want to contribute money to the City of Philadelphia School District where, according to the Commonwealth ...
Tue, July 29, 2014
Jedis, DREAMers and Tax Schemers
It could be labeled a Jedi mind trick, or perhaps double speak worthy of a George Orwell novel. President Obama and the Left have raised to an art form the ability to name a policy initiative the ...
Tue, July 15, 2014
The flood of illegal immigrants crossing America's southern border has become a crisis. Those arriving are not "undocumented" or "refugees," what is occurring is a blatant ...
Mon, June 30, 2014
The Pendulum Swings
When history looks back at the just completed term of the Supreme Court of the United States it will view it as the end point of the pendulum swing toward an imperial presidency and the beginning of ...
Tue, June 24, 2014
Why Republicans Should Not Raise Taxes
With the state budget over a billion dollars out of balance and elections approaching the pressure is on the governing Republican majority in Harrisburg to raise taxes. They should not. To do so ...
Tue, June 17, 2014
Moving the Goal Posts
A football field is 100 yard long. That makes the 50-yard line the center of the field. Suppose we were to change the rules and make the football field 120 yards long. That would make the center ...
Tue, June 03, 2014
PA GOP at Crossroads
In what was perhaps one of the most famous speeches in American political history Ronald Reagan's national career was launched in the closing days of the 1964 presidential campaign with his "A ...
Thu, May 22, 2014
Why We Remember
The degree and intensity which Americans commemorate Memorial Day tends to rise and fall depending upon the nation's level of active involvement in a foreign conflict. During the height of the ...
Mon, May 05, 2014
It is crunch time in Harrisburg.
The next 60 days will likely be the most productive — or unproductive — period of legislating under the capitol dome ...
Tue, April 22, 2014
A Common Thread
With 24-hour cable news and an ever-present stream of information over the Internet it is sometimes difficult to discern trends or common threads due to the overwhelming amount of information that ...
Tue, April 15, 2014
No Turn-around Yet for PA Businesses
Weighed down by concerns over a possible increase in the minimum wage, uncertainty over health care; and excessive regulations, Pennsylvania's business climate continued to get worse over the past ...
Tue, April 08, 2014
A Taxing Tale
President Obama's claim that "If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan" was dubbed by pundits as the 2013 lie of the year. Fast forward to this year's ...
Mon, March 24, 2014
Richard Nixon was often accused of creating an imperial presidency and of using the levers of power to repress and punish those who disagreed with him. Nixon's "enemies list" became a ...
Tue, March 11, 2014
Union Violence Hits Tipping Point
How would you like to be able to stalk someone? Or perhaps harass them? Maybe even threaten to use a weapon of mass destruction against them?
Wed, February 26, 2014
Promises Kept Leads to Political Trouble
By almost any measure 2010 was a banner year for Republicans. Riding the crest of the Tea party wave the GOP reclaimed control of the U.S. House of Representatives and added to the number of states ...
Mon, February 10, 2014
A Yogi Berra Election
Famed Yankee's skipper and player Yogi Berra famously said the game "isn't over until it is over." Always quotable, Berra summed up in one sentence the fact that in baseball, even in the ...
Tue, January 28, 2014
State of the Kingdom
"Leader, n. A person who influences a group of people toward the achievement of a goal." — Webster
"Dictator, n. A leader who ...
Thu, January 16, 2014
PA Energy: Bright Future or Lights Out?
Lying beneath Penn's Woods are deposits of coal and reserves of natural gas so large that the state has earned the nickname the "Saudi Arabia of the United States." At the current moment, ...
Mon, December 30, 2013
Tue, December 03, 2013
In politics, as with many aspects of life, timing is everything. The timing of the awarding of this year's annual cost-of-living pay increase for state officials could not have been worse. ...
Tue, November 19, 2013
Mr. Obama: You're No Abe Lincoln
One President of the United States was invited to speak at the national cemetery at Gettysburg as an afterthought. He was not the featured speaker, and his words lasted but a few minutes. His ...
Tue, November 05, 2013
Opens Records Law Key to Restoring Penn State Credibility
Penn State University is fighting efforts in Harrisburg to place state-related universities, of which Penn State is one, under provisions of the commonwealth's Open Records law. This would require ...
Mon, October 21, 2013
Why the Recovery Remains Sluggish
The last time more Pennsylvania business leaders felt the state's economy was headed in the right direction George W. Bush was just weeks away from being elected to his second term of office. The ...
Mon, October 07, 2013
We Feel Their Pain
Adams County in autumn is one of the most beautiful spots in Pennsylvania. Its country roads are surrounded by apple orchards and roadside stands stocked with pumpkins, cider and other seasonal ...
Tue, September 24, 2013
A Peek Behind the Curtain
Primary elections are the vehicle by which voters select their party's nominees who then advance to the General Election to do battle with the opposing party. But, before voters even go to the polls ...
Tue, September 10, 2013
It's for the Children
Unsurprisingly, in the realm of politics and public policy folks often say one thing while meaning something entirely different. For example, when a public official decides to retire to "spend ...
Fri, August 30, 2013
Latrobe Goes Bananas Over Split
Forget about the pension crisis, crumbling roads and bridges, liquor privatization and all those other issues that have been occupying Pennsylvania politicos for the past few months. It is time to ...
Tue, August 13, 2013
Reform is one of the most abused words in Pennsylvania's legislative lexicon. In the years since the infamous middle-of-the-night pay raise uprising many lawmakers have hopped on the reform ...
Mon, July 29, 2013
Register of Wills ~Justice of the Supreme Court
It is not very often that a Register of Wills makes statewide headlines. But Bruce Hanes, holder of that ministerial office in the suburban Philadelphia County of Montgomery did just that recently ...
Mon, July 15, 2013
Don't Agree? Govern by Decree!
Proponents of conservative public policy increasingly advocate that states invoke their right of nullification, essentially invalidate federal laws with which they strongly disagree or view as ...
Wed, July 03, 2013
Dereliction of Duty
Imagine if you will that your boss had given you three tasks of significant importance to your place of employment and that you had failed to get those tasks done in a timely manner. Now, imagine ...
Tue, June 18, 2013
America's Biggest Scandal
From the administration's handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, to the Internal Revenue Service harassment of conservative organizations, to the Justice Department's snooping on ...
Tue, June 04, 2013
Shredding the Bill of Rights
It may be the work of a vast left-wing conspiracy, or it could be simply the by-product of a nation slowly inching its way into socialism, but a systematic shredding of America's Bill of ...
Mon, May 20, 2013
Costa's Big Government Agenda
In recent weeks Americans have seen the dark underbelly of big government: the IRS targeting conservative groups; the Department of Justice tapping the phone lines of journalists; stonewalling by the ...
Tue, April 30, 2013
Gas, Booze and Feral Swine
State government is facing another difficult budget, a critical junction in the liquor privatization debate, a looming pension crisis along with crumbling roads and bridges. So it provided a bit of ...
Wed, April 24, 2013
Work in Progress
There has been a lot of buzz among politicos over Governor Tom Corbett's low polling numbers. While the governor struggles among the general voting population, he fares better among the state's job ...
Thu, April 11, 2013
Firewall Against Tyranny
When considering whether or not to ratify the proposed Constitution of the United States of America a number of the former colonies expressed concern that the proposed new national charter failed to ...
Tue, April 09, 2013
PA Business Climate: Treading Water
Although many key economic indicators are pointing to a slowly improving economy, employers in Pennsylvania say — at best — the state's business climate is stagnant. More report lower ...
Sat, April 06, 2013
PA business owners/CEOs don't see economic recovery
Although many key economic indicators are pointing to a slowly improving economy, employers in Pennsylvania say - at best - the state's business climate is stagnant. More report lower employment ...
Tue, March 26, 2013
Although much ado has been made about the Republican Party's need to reach out to emerging constituent groups amid the mainstream media's caterwauling about the need for conservatives to moderate, it ...
Mon, March 11, 2013
Raise Profile of PA 'Row Offices'
When Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale appeared recently at the Pennsylvania Press Club he spoke of the frustrations of running for a low profile statewide office in a Presidential ...
Tue, February 26, 2013
The judicial branch of government has been in the news a lot lately for matters unrelated to actual litigation. The conviction of a sitting state Supreme Court Justice on felony charges for using ...
Wed, February 13, 2013
PSEA Bargaining Chips
One of the most common rhetorical techniques used by politicians to disguise the true nature of a proposed policy is to give legislation a name implying something totally different. For example, ...
Wed, January 30, 2013
One Term Tommy?
Nothing excites the political community more than speculating about the next election. Given that 2013 is the low profile point in the political cycle — basically county row offices and ...
Tue, January 15, 2013
Losing the policy debate, unions resorting to violence
Bully n. pl. bul-lies: A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing; a hired ruffian; a thug; v, to ...
Wed, January 02, 2013
A Tale of Two Parties
Given the portrait the mainstream news media has painted of the two major political parties; please identify which of the following actions were taken by the Democrat and which by the ...
Thu, December 20, 2012
A Lump of Coal for Charities?
'Fiscal cliff' talks threaten Federal charitable tax deduction
The stubbornly sluggish economic recovery has created a perfect storm of bad economic news ...
Mon, December 03, 2012
Pledge or Principle?
Much ado has been made in recent weeks about the impact of the no tax pledge spearheaded by Americans for Tax Reform. Those who view the pending expiration of Bush era tax rates, and the fiscal ...
Tue, November 20, 2012
There is a saying in sports that it isn't winning or losing that matters, it is how you play the game. In professional sports appropriate conduct is required. The NFL will flag players for personal ...
Wed, November 07, 2012
Back Where We Started
After the longest and most expensive election cycle in American history we are
. . . right back where we started. President Barack Obama has been re-elected by a narrow margin — even more ...
Mon, November 05, 2012
PA Economy Trying to Gain Steam
Pennsylvania employers are expressing greater optimism about the direction of the state's economy, but underlying factors such as the difficulty in obtaining needed capital continue to hinder the ...
Sat, November 03, 2012
PA Economy Trying to Gain Steam
Lack of access to capital hindering economic recovery
Pennsylvania employers are expressing greater optimism about the direction of the state's economy, but underlying factors such as the difficulty in obtaining needed capital continue to hinder the ...
Tue, October 23, 2012
Natural Gas: Location, Location, Location
There is an old adage in the real estate business that three factors affect the price of a property: location, location, location. It is a truism that might also be adopted by Pennsylvania's ...
Wed, October 10, 2012
Making PA Business Friendly
Dick Yuengling, Jr., owner and president of Pottsville-based Yuengling Brewery, the oldest and now largest brewer of beer in the nation, raised eyebrows recently when he told the Harrisburg ...
Wed, September 26, 2012
Golden Age of Gas
There is no doubt that development of Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas resources has fueled an economic boom across a wide swath of Pennsylvania, a region that has floundered economically ...
Wed, September 12, 2012
Wrong Turn: PA Turnpike Debt Mounts
State Representative Peter J. Daley (D-Washington County) recently called on top leaders at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to resign citing a $7 billion debt racked up by the toll road agency. ...
Thu, September 06, 2012
Republicans Are From Mercury, Democrats From Pluto
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the ...
Tue, September 04, 2012
Intolerance of the Left
Events of recent weeks have graphically illustrated that the political Left in America is guilty of precisely the type of intolerance — political and social — for which it frequently ...
Wed, August 15, 2012
Just when you think things couldn't possible get any worse for Penn State they do. The latest repercussion from the Jerry Sandusky scandal to hit the university is a warning from the Middle States ...
Wed, August 01, 2012
Voter ID Madness
A couple of months ago, suffering from a sore throat, I walked into a local chain pharmacy to buy some cough syrup. The young lady at the check-out counter asked to see my driver's license or some ...
Tue, July 17, 2012
Rearranging the Titanic's Deck Chairs
Pennsylvania's "full-time" legislature is now off on a two month summer recess, essentially ending the productive phase of current session. Yes, the General Assembly will reconvene in ...
Tue, July 03, 2012
Trashing a Self-Evident Truth
As the nation celebrates Independence Day the assault on our rights and freedoms continues on a scale virtually unparalleled in the history of the republic. The Declaration of Independence begins ...
Wed, June 20, 2012
A Rose by Any Other Name
Late last summer the political and financial worlds focused on Capitol Hill as Congress debated increasing the nation's debt limit. Increasing the debt ceiling had become the latest in a string of ...
Tue, June 05, 2012
Real Fiscal Conservatism
Fiscal restraint is a key component of conservatism. Some take this to mean spending less is always better and that all spending cuts are good. But, true fiscal conservatism also requires that when ...
Mon, May 28, 2012
Lincoln Institute Co-Founder Dies at 58
Albert Paschall, 58, co-founder of the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, Inc. passed away on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, in Melbourne, Florida where he recently moved after his retirement ...
Tue, May 22, 2012
Cesspool of Corruption
These are days of shame in Pennsylvania.
In just the past couple of weeks a sitting state Supreme Court Justice has been indicted, a state Senator has resigned in ...
Fri, May 11, 2012
Reason for Pessimism
Convention wisdom over the past few months has it the economy is finally beginning to emerge from the recession that began back in 2008. So it was a bit surprising that the Spring 2012 Keystone ...
Fri, April 27, 2012
Recovery? PA Employers Say Economy Remains Sluggish
Despite the conventional wisdom that the nation is emerging from a four-year economic downturn, results of the Spring 2012 Keystone Business Climate Survey find employers in the commonwealth less ...
Wed, April 25, 2012
Memo from Voters: Stuff Your Endorsement
Tuesday's primary election highlighted two serious structural deficiencies in Pennsylvania's electoral process. Once again the "Keystone State" was anything but in the presidential ...
Wed, April 11, 2012
Time Out: Santorum Ends Campaign
Rick Santorum has ended — for now — one of the most improbable presidential campaigns in modern American history. From bouncing through the cornfields of Iowa in a pick-up truck owned by ...
Wed, March 28, 2012
Conservative activists from across Penn's Woods gathered recently for the annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference. From the podium and through the hallways a common theme emerged. There is a ...
Mon, March 19, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum made headlines a couple of weeks ago when he labeled President Barack Obama a "snob" for saying that his goal was for every American to be ...
Mon, March 19, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum made headlines a couple of weeks ago when he labeled President Barack Obama a "snob" for saying that his goal was for every American to be ...
Wed, February 29, 2012
Presidential debates have a rich history of making — or breaking — candidates. It began with the very first such debate held in 1960 when John Kennedy's confident, youthful appearance ...
Tue, February 14, 2012
Left Intensifies War Against Christians
Left Intensifies War Against Christians
PA 'Year of the Bible" resolution latest front in battle
By Lowman S. Henry
Mon, January 30, 2012
Black Robed Bandits
Every ten years following the decennial census the Pennsylvania state constitution requires the redrawing of legislative district lines to account for shifts in population. Under the best of ...
Wed, January 18, 2012
The Voter ID Race Card
A few weeks ago my wife and I travelled to Arizona to visit family for holidays. When we arrived at the airport we were required to show a photo ID to check our luggage. We again had to show photo ...
Wed, January 04, 2012
Round II: Another Budget Battle Lies Ahead
Governor Tom Corbett and Republicans in the state legislature have spent the last six months patting themselves on the back for fulfilling their main constitutional duty of passing a state budget on ...
Tue, December 06, 2011
Toomey's Practical Conservatism
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey has been in office for less than a year, but in that short period of time he has emerged as something rare in present day Washington, D.C. — a principled officeholder ...
Wed, November 23, 2011
The Rise of Newt Gingrich
The race for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination has begun to resemble a skeet shooting contest. Skeet is a competitive sport wherein clay disks are flung into the air at various angles and ...
Tue, November 08, 2011
Uncertainty Stifling Job Creation
The Occupy Wall Street protestors are focused on the wealthiest one percent of Americans and President Barack Obama is engaging class warfare in an effort to raise taxes on the rich. These tactics ...
Wed, October 26, 2011
Economic Outlook Turns Gloomy
Brief burst of optimism fades as recession lingers
Business confidence in the Pennsylvania economy has again turned negative after a brief period of optimism earlier this year. The Fall 2011 Keystone Business Climate Survey conducted by the ...
Tue, October 25, 2011
In the Fullness of Time
&quot;I may walk slowly, but I never walk backward.&quot;
The 2011 General Election has yet to be held, but already ...
Tue, October 11, 2011
Haight-Ashbury Meets Wall Street
It is interesting how a dispirit group of malcontents with nothing better to do that hang out on Wall Street all of a sudden are branded by the media as a "national movement."
Tue, September 27, 2011
Passage of the state budget and looming battles over school choice and privatization of the commonwealth's liquor stores have dominated the policy debate in Harrisburg. But, almost quietly an ...
Tue, September 13, 2011
Unemployment: Obama's Hostage Crisis?
Barack Obama's presidency is in deep trouble because he neglected to heed the maxim ineloquently stated by Clinton campaign manager Jim Carville in the 1992 Presidential campaign: "It's the ...
Wed, August 31, 2011
A Tree Falls in Penn's Woods
The Lincoln Institute's most recent Keystone Business Climate Survey found just 16% of employers in Penn's Woods held a positive view of the state House of Representatives, only 14% thought kindly of ...
Mon, August 15, 2011
Barry Goldwater Redux?
Ron Paul may be the Republican Party's latest incarnation of Barry Goldwater. Like the 1964 Republican Presidential nominee, Congressman Paul has been an election cycle or two ahead of public ...
Wed, August 03, 2011
The Next Step
Governor Tom Corbett inherited a $4 billion plus budget deficit when he took office earlier this year. Keeping his pledge not to raise taxes, the new governor promptly outlined the spending cuts ...
Mon, July 18, 2011
Irresistible Force Meets Immovable Object
Washington, the financial world and much of the nation are transfixed by the political stalemate over the looming national debt ceiling. Amid the charges of "playing to the base" and ...
Tue, July 05, 2011
The 'Not Mitt' Primary
In addition to their growing ideological divide, the two major political parties in the United States have established a completely different approach to selecting their nominees for the Presidency. ...
Mon, June 20, 2011
Tower of Babble
In January, at the dawn of the current legislative session, it appeared as if Pennsylvania was finally headed toward giving parents of children in failing schools the right of school choice. School ...
Mon, June 06, 2011
Clintonian Style Tax Debate
In his efforts to escape legal entanglements resulting from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, former President Bill Clinton once answered a prosecutor's question by saying "it depends on what the ...
Thu, May 26, 2011
Last Full Measure of Devotion
As with many occasions that roll around every year, the significance of Memorial Day can often be overlooked because it is an annual rite. But each year, for someone, Memorial Day has for the first ...
Mon, May 09, 2011
PA GOP Senate: Wrong on Budget
It is budget time in Harrisburg. The deadline for approving the state's new spending plan is June 30th. With Republicans in control of the governorship and both houses of the legislature there is ...
Mon, May 02, 2011
PA Employers say recession has ended, predict improving economy
Pennsylvania's business climate has ended a three year slide, but although it has ...
Tue, April 26, 2011
GOP Fantasy Team 2012
Sports fanatics like to fantasize. There are fantasy teams for baseball and football, and brackets for March Madness at the end of basketball season. As the presidential election gears up political ...
Tue, April 12, 2011
Drill Baby Drill
I like my sport utility vehicle. It works well for me because it seems I am always toting something around; printed materials for work or campaigns, plants for the yard, luggage for family ...
Tue, March 29, 2011
If You Tax It They Will Leave
"If you want to go to work you can find a job."
How many places in Pennsylvania, in fact in America can make that boast? They can in Bradford County ...
Tue, March 15, 2011
A few short weeks ago the buzzword in American politics was "civility." The mainstream news networks, liberal newspapers, the left-wing blogosphere and their assorted allies were in high ...
Mon, February 28, 2011
Speaking of Rights . . .
Time for a Right to Work law
In Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has chosen to fight a budget battle and engage in a playing field-altering confrontation with his state's labor unions at the same time. Here in Pennsylvania ...
Tue, February 15, 2011
Chuck Taylor Budgeting
Every once in a while an old idea becomes new again. It seems our never-ending quest for things new and original occasionally gives way to a desire for something old and familiar. In clothing for ...
Mon, January 31, 2011
Civility: Left's Code Word of the Day
President Harry S. Truman was known for his blunt talk. Much of that blunt talk was aimed at Republicans in Congress who were frequently at odds with the man from Missouri. Truman turned the GOP ...
Tue, January 18, 2011
Lt. Governor: Relic or Relevant?
Much has been written and said about what kind of a governor Tom Corbett will be. He is, without any doubt, the polar opposite of former Governor Ed Rendell in both style and substance. But little ...
Tue, January 04, 2011
Testing, One . . . Two . . . Three . . .
The calendar now says 2011, but the political eyes of the nation are already looking ahead to 2012 when America will once again elect a president. While it may seem a bit early to focus on the ...
Tue, December 21, 2010
Rock, Paper, Scissors
As Tom Corbett prepares to take office in a couple of weeks as Pennsylvania's new governor the array of problems awaiting his attention are varied and substantial. His first order of business will ...
Tue, December 07, 2010
How the Left Stole Christmas
As surely as silver bells ring and halls get decked the arrival of the Christmas season will reignite controversy over the expression of Christian religious beliefs in the public square. Despite the ...
Tue, November 23, 2010
Walking Around Money
The skyrocketing cost of government was a major factor in the GOP's sweeping victories in congressional elections earlier this month. Much attention was focused on earmarks, the practice of ...
Mon, November 08, 2010
Change We Can't Believe In
With Republicans now firmly in control of both the Pennsylvania Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives it would seem the time is finally at hand for enactment of a reform agenda. Three ...
Wed, October 27, 2010
It's Your Choice
Pennsylvania is about to get a new governor, and there will be a lot of new faces in the legislature when it reconvenes in January. Fiscal issues, specifically the state's $5 billion plus structural ...
Fri, October 22, 2010
PA Economy Stuck in Low Gear
The economic recession in Pennsylvania leveled off last spring, but results of the Fall 2010 Keystone Business Climate Survey reveal the recovery has not yet begun. The drop in sales that plagued ...
Thu, October 14, 2010
Tough Times Down on the Farm
Although Pennsylvania is often characterized as an "industrial state," agriculture is actually the state's number one business. A recent poll of farmers across Penn's Woods found that, ...
Thu, September 30, 2010
Animal Farm Redux
GOP-controlled state senate lurches left
In George Orwell's 1945 classic Animal Farm, the humans running the farm are displaced in an uprising by the animals who take charge. As time progresses, the revolutionary leaders become corrupted ...
Tue, September 14, 2010
Proposed Legislative Budget Office is Fiscal Folly
The compromise that resulted in the state budget agreement last summer included promised action on two major issues by October: enactment of a severance tax on gas in the Marcellus Shale Reserve, and ...
Wed, September 01, 2010
A Transformational Election
Although Labor Day is traditionally seen as the kick-off of the General Election campaign season, the long process of state primaries will continue well into September. The primaries held to date ...
Fri, August 20, 2010
A Matter of Fairness
The traditional Labor Day kick-off of the political season is almost here, but the fall campaign will get underway without any minor party or independent candidates on the ballot for statewide ...
Tue, August 03, 2010
A Mid-Summer Night's Nightmare
Governor Ed Rendell will leave office in January, but travelers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will only just be starting to pay for the legacy of profligate spending he will leave behind.
Tue, July 20, 2010
Pork Perverts Process
Thousands of state workers will be losing their jobs, the state's social service agencies are struggling to deal with delayed and reduced funding, roads and bridges across the commonwealth are ...
Wed, July 07, 2010
Quick question: which party's legislative leadership would you expect to vote for a budget that plunges the state more deeply into debt by borrowing $600 million; relies on over $800 million in ...
Thu, July 01, 2010
Our Finest Hour
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the ...
Wed, June 09, 2010
Irresistible Force Meets Immovable Object
It looks like Ed Rendell will go eight for eight.
As in, eight missed budget deadlines in eight years. I haven't checked the records, but I am willing to bet the ...
Mon, May 24, 2010
Racists vs. Socialists
The presidency of Barack Obama has become one of the most polarizing, if not the most polarizing administration in U.S. history. The Rasmussen Reports daily presidential tracking poll this past ...
Wed, May 12, 2010
Round II: Budget Battle Resumes
Be prepared for another long, hot summer in Harrisburg as Governor Ed Rendell and lawmakers fight over a new state budget amid a fiscal situation that has gone from bad to worse.
Tue, April 27, 2010
It Can Be Done
During his time in the White House Ronald Reagan kept a small sign on his desk. It read simply: "It can be done." Pennsylvanians are about to elect a new governor. He will be required ...
Fri, April 23, 2010
Recession Loses Steam, Job Losses Continue
Pennsylvania employers say that the state's economy has somewhat stabilized over the past six months, but the progress has come at the cost of jobs as many companies have cut the size of their work ...
Tue, April 13, 2010
Weakening Religious Foundations Goal of American Left
It is a typical tactic of the Left and its allies in the establishment news media to prey upon a problem that may develop in the core institutions of our society, magnifying the problem with the goal ...
Thu, April 01, 2010
Race to the Bottom
The Rendell Administration has been feeding hungrily at the trough of federal stimulus money, and among the categories it hopes to score dollars is in the area of education.
Tue, March 16, 2010
Race for Lt. Governor reveals GOP divide
All signs point to 2010 being a banner year for Republicans in Pennsylvania. Powered by the national backlash over the dramatic leftward tilt of the Obama Administration, the GOP appears poised to ...
Tue, March 02, 2010
TEA for Two?
Should the TEA Party join the GOP?
The TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party movement over the past year has developed into a major force in American politics. So much so it lifted a little known state senator in Massachusetts into the ...
Mon, February 15, 2010
Two Roads Diverged in Penn's Woods
Will PA-12 be NY-23 or Massachusetts?
Will the special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Congressman John P. Murtha be a re-run of New York 23, or a Republican coup like the election of U.S. Senator Scott Brown in ...
Tue, February 02, 2010
PA Dems could nominate Leftist ticket
In sports, teams that have absolutely no chance of making the play-offs sometimes make the biggest difference simply by playing the contenders. That is what may be happening in the race for the ...
Mon, January 18, 2010
Black Robed Bad Boys
As a result of the Bonusgate and capitol corruption scandals a harsh spotlight has been shone on the criminal misdeeds and alleged criminal actions of formerly powerful members of the Pennsylvania ...
Tue, January 05, 2010
It does matter who is PA's next lieutenant governor
Dramatic developments in races for the United States Senate and Pennsylvania Governor have dominated coverage of the 2010 elections in Penn's Woods. But, a third statewide office will be on the ...
Mon, December 21, 2009
Not in the Cards
Who would have thought that half-way through the state's fiscal year the budget would still not be a completed document?
Our &quot;full time&quot; ...
Tue, December 08, 2009
Is Tom Corbett the next Dick Thornburgh?
It is always interesting to look back at history to find situations similar to those we currently find ourselves in as a guide to what actions we should take, or perhaps to foretell the future.
Mon, November 23, 2009
PA needs a new state constitution
The time has come for a state constitutional convention.
It has become abundantly clear that not only is state government broken and dysfunctional, but that it is ...
Mon, November 09, 2009
A Tale of Two Elections
Two elections held earlier this month in New York and Pennsylvania dramatically illustrate what happens when candidates are allowed to compete for their party's nomination rather than being selected ...
Wed, October 28, 2009
Where for Art Thou?
PA legislature leaves town with job undone
After missing the constitutionally-mandated deadline for passing a state budget by 101 days the Pennsylvania General Assembly promptly adjourned and went home for a month's vacation.
Tue, October 13, 2009
Ticking Time Bomb
PA headed for fiscal 'perfect storm'
Finally, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a new state budget. The 101-day budget crisis ended with a new spending plan of $27.8 billion, a mere $500 million less than the previous year's budget ...
Tue, September 29, 2009
The current budget deal doesn't fit the bill
Recently I spoke before a Republican group about the current state budget deal. During my remarks I praised Republicans in the state House for their continued principled opposition to the tax ...
Mon, September 14, 2009
Say It Ain't So, Joe!
Senate GOP Sells Out on Taxes
The announcement of a three-caucus budget deal involving both House and Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans represents a dramatic about face by Senate Republican leadership which at this point ...
Tue, September 01, 2009
Just Do It
Works selling sneakers, not state budgeting
As Pennsylvania's budget crisis enters its third month there is a growing sentiment that legislators and the governor should strike whatever agreement they can just to bring the saga to an end. That ...
Wed, August 19, 2009
We're mad as . . .
This is the summer of our discontent. Across America and throughout Penn's woods people are angry. In addition to dealing with arguably the most difficult economic times since the Great Depression, ...
Wed, August 05, 2009
Time to Debate the Role of State Government
Are we driving a Cadillac when a Ford would do?
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously said that "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste." That philosophy could easily be adapted to Pennsylvania's current budget ...
Tue, July 21, 2009
Seven Billion Dollar Boondoggle
Congress wasted defense dollars on duplicate jet engines
The rush to borrow and spend trillions of dollars under the guise of stimulating the economy has largely not applied to what is actually the core function of the federal government: the ...
Tue, July 07, 2009
Nobody Ever Lost . . .
Tax hike vote could be the 'pay raise' vote of 2009
It happened four years ago in the early morning hours of July 7th. The Pennsylvania General Assembly was set to adjourn for the summer, and in the dead of the night did what it had done many times ...
Wed, June 24, 2009
Wheel of Misfortune
Gamblers, nonprofits eyed as sources for more tax revenue
As the economic recession continues to impact state and local budgets elected officials at all levels are seeking new ways to increase revenue. The schemes to fleece more money from the private ...
Tue, June 09, 2009
Break the Cycle
Time to cut spending, not raise taxes
It was a classic example of how bureaucrats and politicians manipulate public opinion to advance their spending agendas. In the days after the Republican-controlled state senate passed a no-tax hike ...
Wed, May 27, 2009
No, just a healthy debate
It didn't look good. The party had lost control of the White House and both houses of Congress. In the aftermath of defeat there were many voices raised urging divergent directions. No one seemed ...
Wed, May 20, 2009
'Enhanced Interrogation Techniques'
Is water boarding right or wrong?
There is a classic old rhetorical question used in teaching debaters how to back their opponents into a corner: "Have you stopped beating your wife, yet?" If the person being questioned ...
Tue, May 12, 2009
Spending interests make their voices heard, will you?
The budget battle has begun. Governor Ed Rendell has continued his typical tax, spend and borrow approach, while state Senate Republicans have decided the time has come for state government to live ...
Tue, May 05, 2009
GOP performance in budget debate will determine viability in governor's race
We the people of Penn's woods will elect a new governor in November of next year. That is when the official voting will take place. But, the outcome of that election — as well as control of ...
Tue, April 28, 2009
Principle or Politics?
Specter party switch had nothing to do with party ideology
Arlen Specter has now made official — he is a Democrat.
That, of course, is something we have known all along. Arlen Specter has acted more like a Democrat ...
Tue, April 21, 2009
What is next for the Tea Party movement?
Millions of Americans turned out, some in pouring rain, on April 15th — tax day — to protest the big spending ways of Washington. It was a legitimate, spontaneous grassroots uprising the ...
Wed, April 08, 2009
A New PATH
PA must end culture of corruption
Pennsylvania it seems is giving Illinois a run for its money when it comes to claiming the title of the most corrupt state in America. While the Land of Lincoln garnered sensational headlines with ...
Tue, March 31, 2009
Legalized video poker wrong course for PA
Recent polling by Franklin Marshall College shows a vast majority of Pennsylvanians support the expansion of gambling to include small games of chance, like video poker at bars; along with an ...
Wed, March 25, 2009
Who can win PA's U.S. Senate Seat in 2010?
As the 2010 race for Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate seat takes shape the debate has already begun within the Republican Party as to who would be the most viable candidate against the eventual Democratic ...
Tue, March 17, 2009
Obama plans to deny veterans health care
It is part of the anti-war mantra: We oppose the war, but support the troops. Now, yet another liberal lie bites the dust as President Barack Obama plans to end the nation's commitment to provide ...
Tue, March 10, 2009
Arlen Specter may be without a political home
Ronald Reagan once observed that &quot;a recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose your job.&quot; U.S. Senator Arlen Specter said recently we are ...
Tue, March 03, 2009
Obama plans to limit charitable tax deductions at worst possible time
President Barack Obama's war on the wealthy took a dangerous turn in his recently presented national budget when he proposed placing limits on tax deductions to charities by high income earners. It ...
Mon, February 23, 2009
PA taxpayers paying for all sides in Bonusgate probe
Pity the poor taxpayer. As the probe into the state's Bonusgate scandal widens the cost of prosecuting — and defending — those under investigation is skyrocketing. And, we the taxpayers ...
Wed, February 18, 2009
We Pennsylvanians love our communities
Governor Ed Rendell's suggestion that Pennsylvania should undergo another round of school district consolidation has reignited the debate as to whether fewer and bigger is better than more and ...
Wed, February 11, 2009
Bigger Not Better
Rendell goal is to consolidate power, not schools
There it was, nestled deep down in the Governor's annual budget address to a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, a bombshell that has ignited the debate over whether Pennsylvania ...
Tue, February 03, 2009
So simple even a cave man could understand
As state government struggles with a ballooning budget deficit it has become abundantly clear that the Rendell Administration is completely unwilling to make the tough decisions necessary to bring ...
Tue, January 27, 2009
2009 Golden Snout Awards
Special 'bail-out mania' edition
It is the time of year when Hollywood pats itself on the back honoring its own with everything from the People's Choice Awards to the Oscars. And so it is time to revive the annual Pennsylvania ...
Wed, January 21, 2009
Age of Obama?
It is too soon to declare the end of a conservative era
America has a new President. It is the beginning of a new administration. But, it is not the beginning of a new "era." Many commentators, especially those of a Leftist bent, are ...
Mon, January 12, 2009
Back to the Future
Current PA budget crisis brings back memories of 1991
Eighteen years have passed since Pennsylvania last faced a major budget crisis, and the bad decisions made by Governor Casey and legislative leaders continue to haunt the commonwealth. The state's ...
Tue, December 16, 2008
House of Cards?
'Card Check' vote will be defining issue in 2010 U.S. Senate Primary
New polls are showing U.S. Senator Arlen Specter is in for a long, tough slough if he hopes to win re-election and retain his seat in 2010. Polling reported on the Daily Kos web site shows Specter ...
Tue, December 09, 2008
Read My Lips
PA's new Lieutenant Governor Returns GOP to its anti-tax roots
Let us try not to get to optimistic, yet, but it appears that Pennsylvania's new Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati (who is also President Pro Tempore of the state Senate) actually gets it.
Tue, December 02, 2008
Conservative social principles sound, rehetorical approach often flawed
In the wake of the second wave of substantial Republican losses from President on down to legislative seats, some in the GOP are suggesting it is time for the party to abandon its traditional support ...
Mon, November 17, 2008
Pay to Play?
Non-bid state contracts walk a fine ethical line
Attorney General Tom Corbett's aggressive investigation of the Bonusgate scandal has put a bright spotlight on the fine line that separates legitimate legislative staff work from campaign-related ...
Mon, November 10, 2008
Elections Not Yet Over
Legislative leadership election will determine agenda for the coming two years
For voters the 2008 elections are over, but for members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly a number of very important votes are still to be cast. In the coming weeks, legislators will be selecting ...
Wed, November 05, 2008
Thinning the Herd: RINOs Lose Big
Abandonment of conservative principles root cause of Republican losses
The Republican Party nationally, and in Pennsylvania, lies in tatters today. Having lost the White House to Barack Obama, suffered historic losses in ...
Mon, October 27, 2008
Ed and Taxpayers Make a Porno
Films take funding priority over sewers, roads ~bridges
Among the decisions to be made by Pennsylvania voters on Election Day is a ballot question that would empower the commonwealth to borrow $400 million to finance improvements to our state's water and ...
Wed, October 22, 2008
Smaller scale PA Turnpike public-private partnerships may be politically viable
The demise of the proposed agreement to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to an investor firm headed by the Spanish investment group Albertis leaves the future of efforts to privatize the cross-state ...
Mon, October 13, 2008
Keystone Business Climate Survey produces most pessimistic results ever
Pennsylvania's business climate mirrored the national economic melt-down over the past six months according to a substantial majority of business owners and chief executive officers participating in ...
Tue, October 07, 2008
Fiscal Crisis Looms Over Penn's Woods
Years of state over-spending contribute to mounting budget deficit
State Representative Sam Rohrer was the canary in the mineshaft. Weeks ago, as the economic storm clouds gathered, Rohrer said the state was headed toward a massive budget deficit and he called upon ...
Tue, September 30, 2008
Solving the Highway Funding Crisis
A roadmap for fixing PA's roads and bridges
As Congress struggles with how to resolve arguably the most serious financial crisis to confront our nation since the Great Depression, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell attempted to complicate the ...
Tue, September 23, 2008
2010 Governor's race beginning to take shape
With the Presidential race running red hot, especially here in Pennsylvania, little attention is being paid to the 2010 race for governor of Penn's woods. Ed Rendell is unable to succeed himself ...
Mon, September 15, 2008
Leasing turnpike not the only solution to PA's roads and bridge funding woes
The federal government has realized something Pennsylvania policymakers did not: that the proposed tolling of Interstate 80 to provide funding to fix other roads and bridges was a bad idea. Thus did ...